Below you will find what is more than likely to be the definitive set of protocols for handling asset theft cases. These are not being officially enforced quite yet, as we are still waiting for an additional admin to weigh in. However, barring something substantial that we might have missed, it is a safe bet that this is what you can expect to become case law. That being said, you are welcome to engage in civil discussion regarding these policies, though we must emphasize that civility is paramount here. We will not take kindly to any unfounded detractions, i.e. bad faith arguments or other assorted aggravations, and those will be dealt with accordingly. In other words, do not come here expecting to eradicate these policies through bad faith arguments. What you are seeing here is more or less official.
With that out of the way, here are the policies as of the time of this writing:
The following serves as what will become official protocol for dealing with projects that lift copyrighted assets.
These guidelines will outline what you need to know as a developer, what users need to know should they submit claims through the respective channels, and the protocol moderators and admins will follow for the associated investigations.
Any claimant, regardless of their association with a given developer, has the right to inform us that a project contains copyrighted assets. If it has been confirmed beyond reasonable doubt that your project is thus affected, you will be notified immediately, and given a chance to respond in your own defense. Please be advised that failure to address a substantiated claim in an appropriate manner will result in links to the affected game or project being removed and disallowed from the community, both within the database and on the forum. We will not forbid discussion of your project, but will simply ask that it not be supported publicly due to its status. This no-support policy will remain in effect until such time that you have eliminated all problematic elements outlined in the claim leveraged against you. Since our stated aim is to limit or eliminate the unauthorized use of copyrighted assets within our community, and not to punish developers needlessly, we will readily resume active support of your project once the terms of the claim against you have been fulfilled.
Please note: the audiogames.net staff team has the right to pursue claimant action against any developer without other direct community involvement, provided all other qualifications of said claim are valid.
We appreciate any help from the community in insuring that all projects remain free of stolen assets. However, we do ask that you take the following points into account before you attempt to register a claim against a developer or project.
Be thorough, accurate and unbiased
We appreciate any help you may be willing to render in our efforts to end the misuse of copyrighted assets in our community. Please attempt to be as thorough and detailed as possible, with the understanding that an unsubstantiated claim will result in no action taken against the target of that claim. It is in everyone's best interest to represent their case openly, clearly and honestly.
Sound library asset use, on its own, does not constitute substantive proof of wrongdoing
For obvious reasons, we do not condone the use of stolen sound libraries. However, a successful claim should consist of more than just an accusation that a developer is using a specific library in their project. There is no way for us to prove whether or not the developer in question has bought the sound library, short of asking them outright, and we will not engage in the practice of demanding receipts or anything else that we have no right to seek.
your word is not the primary deciding factor in the validity of a claim
This guideline applies to users and developers alike. A project is never going to be adjudicated based on an individual account alone. The administration, when presented with a claim, will perform thorough research in order to obtain sufficient evidence before proceeding with any action. The most definitive evidence is likely to come from the owner of the copyrighted assets, or from someone otherwise close to the source, but this need not always be the case.
Please do not submit intentionally false Claims!
If a user's claim has been substantially invalidated, and if it is deemed beyond a reasonable doubt to have been initiated for personal reasons, or as a means of unjustly targeting a project, developer or community member, the claimant will be issued an immediate double warning, citing character assassination and the community failure clause. Our aim is to reverse the prevalence of copyrighted assets, not to start a flurry of unfounded accusations. Claimants who seek to use this system in bad faith will be punished for attempting to weaponize this mechanism of safeguarding our community against potential legal trouble.
Asset lifting is more immediately detectable when a developer has taken assets directly from another specific project, not necessarily a library on its own.
When this policy is enacted, we will not be retroactively targeting every game under the sun containing copyrighted assets. Instead, we will react primarily based on verified claims or cases which have already been demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt. This policy is corrective, not retributive.